China Air Pollution

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, China has abundant tourism resources, the vast majority of which are of great renown. However, the number of tourists visiting China declined from 2013, mostly due to its increasingly serious air pollution. Many cities have been adversely affected by hazy weather since the beginning of 2013. This is especially true of central and eastern China’s cities such as Tangshan, Jinan, Zhengzhou, and Xi'an for example.

It is known to all that the rapid development of China’s economy in the past 30 years resulted in environmental degradation. Nevertheless, the hazy weather records of China in 2013 attracted global attention. It is a pity that as a consequence some foreign residents choose to give up their jobs and life in China.

China Air Pollution Map

As what can be seen from the above map, central China, eastern and south China are the most effected districts, especially the Yangtze River Delta including Shanghai. Not without consequence, this air pollution map is almost the same as the map of China’s population distribution.  The air quality is good in most part of northern and northwest China. Furthermore, the hazy weather has obvious seasonal characteristic, which usually occurs in the autumn and winter.

 

Air Quality Index (AQI)

As the new standard of measurement for air quality, AQI is a quantitative description of the air quality index. The major pollutants involved in the analysis including fine particulate matter (PM2.5), inhalable particles (PM10), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO). Here PM2.5 and PM10 are measured in micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3).

According to “Technical Regulation on Ambient Air Quality Index (on trial)”, AQI is divided into six levels in total, with Level one being the best and Level six being the worst.

 

AQI and Health Implications

AQI Air Quality Health Implications
0–50 Excellent No air pollution.
51–100 Good Few hypersensitive individuals should reduce the time for outdoor activities.
101–150 Lightly Polluted Slight irritations may occur, children, and those who with breathing or heart problems should reduce outdoor exercise.
151–200 Moderately Polluted Irritations may occur, and it may have an impact on healthy people’s heart and / or respiratory system, so all people should reduce the time for outdoor exercise.
201–300 Heavily Polluted Healthy people will be noticeably affected. People with breathing or heart problems will lack exercise tolerance. Those patients, children and elders should remain indoors.
300+ Severely Polluted Even healthy people will lack endurance during activities. There may be strong irritations and symptoms. So all people should avoid outdoor activities.
 

Air Quality Rankings of Chinese Major Tourist Cities in 2019

Rank City Province belongs to AQI Air Quality Level PM 2.5 PM 10
1 Lijiang Yunnan 16 Excellent 6 16
2 Sanya Hainan 17 Excellent 9 14
3 Kunming Yunnan 18  Excellent  12 16
4 Dali  Yunnan 18 Excellent 13 16
5 Haikou Hainan 19 Excellent 4 15
6 Lhasa Tibet 21 Excellent 4 6
7 Jinan Shandong 21 Excellent 11 17
8 Dalian Liaoning  22 Excellent 14 22
9 Guiyang Guizhou 22 Excellent 11 21
10 Shanghai Shanghai 22 Excellent 12 22
11 Qingdao Shandong 24 Excellent 8 24
12 Nanjing  Jiangsu  24 Excellent 9 24
13 Suzhou Jiangsu 24 Excellent 8 24
14 Shenzhen Guangdong 25 Excellent 11 22
15 Xiamen Fujian 29 Excellent  12  29
16 Fuzhou Fujian 33 Excellent 9 33
17 Shijiazhuang Hebei  33 Excellent 11 17
18 Nanning Guangxi  34 Excellent  14  34
19 Chongqing     Chongqing 35 Excellent 13 27
20 Hangzhou  Zhejiang 35 Excellent  13  27
21 Zhangjiajie  Hunan 35 Excellent 19 35
22 Datong Shanxi 36 Excellent 21 33
23 Guilin Guangxi 36 Excellent 25 34
24 Baotou Inner Mongolia 37 Excellent 20 37
25 Changchun Jilin 38 Excellent 20 38
26 Chengdu  Sichuan  39 Excellent 22 39
27 Zhengzhou Henan 39 Excellent 14 39
28 Beijing Beijing 41 Excellent 29 95
29 Harbin Heilongjiang 42 Excellent 18 42
30 Hohhot Inner Mongolia 43 Excellent 30 42
31 Zhangjiakou Hebei 44 Excellent 9 22
32 Shengyang Liaoning  44  Excellent 26 42
33 Yangzhou Jiangsu 45 Excellent 16 45
34 Hefei Anhui 46 Excellent 19 46
35 Urumqi Xinjiang 47  Excellent  11  47
36 Yinchuan Ningxia 48 Excellent 21 48
37 Taiyuan Shanxi 48 Excellent 33 40
38 Lanzhou Gansu 50 Excellent 22 50
39 Xining Qinghai 52 Good 32 54
40 Wuhan Hubei 53 Good 34 56
41 Changsha Hunan 57 Good 30 48
42 Xi'an Shaanxi 59 Good 34 68
43 Luoyang Henan 59  Good  41 67
44 Tianjin Tianjin  63 Good 39 76
45 Guangzhou Guangdong 93 Good 38 75

Note: AQI and Air Quality Level may vary day by day; the data here is just average value for reference only.
- Last modified on Oct. 20, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Air Pollution
Asked by Gia from USA | Oct. 20, 2019 17:07Reply
How is the air pollution in Beijing during the month of November?
Answers (1)
Answered by Swan from FRANCE | Oct. 20, 2019 18:52
00Reply


Well, based on the previous weather statistics, the air pollution would be a little bit serious during that period of time. You'd better to wear a mask.
Asked by siew cheng from MALAYSIA | Oct. 13, 2019 00:05Reply
I'm suffering from Bronchiectasis and I'm planning to visit Guangzhou in December.
How is the air pollution there ? DO I need to wear N95 mask?
Answers (2)
Answered by Charles from UNITED KINGDOM | Oct. 13, 2019 19:30
00Reply


Based on the previous weather statistics, the air pollution won't be that serious. Thus you don't need to wear N95 mask. :)
Answered by siew cheng from MALAYSIA | Oct. 14, 2019 20:08
00Reply


Thank you Charles for your swift and helpful reply.
Asked by Alain from CANADA | Oct. 10, 2019 18:34Reply
Air quality Oct 13th to 27th
Hello,

I will be going to the following destinations and would like to know if I will need a mask. I am healthy and will be doing a lot of hiking/sightseeing.

-Mutianyu Great Wall
-Guilin/Yangshuo
-Mt Fanjing near Tongren
-Fenghuang
-Zhangjiajie
-Beijing (oct 26-27th)
Answers (1)
Answered by Chase from POLAND | Oct. 13, 2019 19:32
00Reply


Well, according to the previous situations, you are suggested to wear a mask.
Asked by Patricia from THAILAND | Sep. 14, 2019 00:46Reply
Xi'an 9-18 October PM2.5
Hi I would live to visit Xi'an (around 4 days) and zhengzhou (1 day) in October. I would like to ask about the PM2.5 situations there during those mentioned times. Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Charles from DENMARK | Sep. 16, 2019 18:21
00Reply


According to the weather forecast, the air condition will be good during that period of time. You don't need to wear masks. Don't worry.
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